Can I Sue for Emotional Distress from a Car Accident?

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If you have been in an accident in which you were injured, or a loved one died, you may be suffering from emotional distress. It may have come upon you unexpectedly if you were dealing with your injuries and trying to recover your health. 

You might not have been paying attention to your mental state, even though you may have experienced a lack of concentration, constantly replaying the events, insomnia, or crying bouts.  

What is emotional distress?


If you have been in an accident, it is not uncommon to suffer from emotional distress in its aftermath. This may be expressed as a constant reliving of the accident or feeling mental anguish that can impact your financial situation and personal relationships. 

Suffering depression and anxiety due to the accident may end up turning into a permanent condition with its accompanying myriad of symptoms such as: excessive worrying, feelings of guilt, sleeping either too much or not enough, changes in eating patterns and appetite, and more. 

As a result, you may now be relying on mood-altering substances such as drugs and alcohol. And these feelings and attitudes can be triggered by anything that reminds you of the accident, like when driving by the place where it happened, if someone mentions it, or if you see something similar on the news.

Proving Emotional Distress After an Accident

For you to receive compensation for emotional distress after an accident, you must be able to prove that it is a direct result of the event. This may be achieved by explaining how the accident had an emotional impact on your life. You can do this by explaining the magnitude of your injuries and the time it has taken you to recover from them. 

Your lawyer will include damages for emotional distress when you file a legal claim, and will seek compensation for it through the legal system. In addition, your lawyer can help you gather additional evidence, prepare a legal strategy, and negotiate fair compensation for your physical and emotional distress.

What evidence can be used to prove emotional distress?

There are several ways to prove emotional distress when you file a legal claim. First, it is helpful to have the testimony of witnesses who know you and can attest to the changes in your personality since the accident. 

You may also provide a journal in which you have kept a record of the flashbacks, insomnia, anxiety, survivor’s guilt, depression, and the medications prescribed for these symptoms.

The severity of the injuries can also make it clear that you are suffering from emotional distress since the fight to recover your health can take an emotional toll. This would allow the judge or jury to get a complete picture of the accident and increase the chances of getting the compensation you deserve for all your losses.

Can you bring a claim for emotional distress without an injury?

To bring a claim for emotional distress, there must be a physical injury. For example, if you were shaken but uninjured or felt scared because of a close call, you will have no legal claim. Read more about the requirements for a legal claim that includes emotional distress by clicking the URL here.

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John Miller

John Miller is a cars enthusiast who loves writing anything related to automobiles. He is a passionate blogger writing for and other auto blogs